BLAINE, Minn. – The North Iowa Bulls will face three of the NA3HL’s top teams when Todd Sanden leads his team to the league’s Showcase in the Twin Cities, starting next Sunday afternoon. Each of the league’s 42 teams will play three games at the Showcase, filling out a 47-game regular season schedule.
All three of North Iowa’s opponents are currently in first place in their respective divisions, starting with the Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques out of the Coastal Division. L/A stands at 19-4-1-1 after its first 25 games, six points ahead of the Northeast Generals. The Bulls and Nordiques will lace up their skates Sunday afternoon, Dec. 17 for a 4:30 matchup.
The next two games will be early contests for the Bulls – their Monday contest will take them up against the Yellowstone Quake at 11 a.m. Yellowstone comes into this weekend at 20-2-1-0, seven points ahead of second-place Great Falls in the Frontier Division. The two teams don’t see each other often, but were counterparts in the same pool at last year’s Silver Cup national championship tournament. Ryan Theros’s Quake team knocked off the Bulls 4-2 on the opening night of the event.
The Texas Brahmas will be the Bulls’ final opponent at the Showcase, with the last faceoff before Christmas scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 12:15 p.m. The Brahmas handed North Iowa a 3-2 loss on the first day of last year’s midseason Showcase. Texas is six points ahead of Atlanta for the South Division lead, and their .950 winning percentage is tied with St. Louis for the top number in the league. North Iowa holds a .932 winning percentage, the league’s third-best.
The Bulls have never played Lewiston/Auburn, and lost last year in their only meeting with Texas. North Iowa is 1-1 all-time against the Quake, with both games coming in pool play in Romeoville. North Iowa is 14-7 all-time at the Showcase, but has won 14 of 17 after finishing with a winless mark at the event in its inaugural season.